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ERIC Number: EJ1043999
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Nov
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0195-6744
The Bridge and the Troll Underneath: Summer Bridge Programs and Degree Completion
Douglas, Daniel; Attewell, Paul
American Journal of Education, v121 n1 p87-109 Nov 2014
College graduation rates in the United States are low in both real and relative terms. This has left all stakeholders looking for novel solutions while perhaps ignoring extant but underused programs. This article examines the effect of "summer bridge" programs, which have students enroll in coursework prior to beginning their first full academic year, on associate's and bachelor's degree completion. We make use of the Beyond Postsecondary (BPS) transcript data as well as data from one large university system. Our analysis utilizes propensity score matching to account for selection effects among students. We find that at community colleges and less selective 4-year colleges, students who attend bridge programs are 10 percentage points more likely to finish within 6 years. We discuss our findings in the context of how colleges might better use their existing initiatives to improve student outcomes, and in light of recent findings from a randomized controlled trial study.
University of Chicago Press. Journals Division, P.O. Box 37005, Chicago, IL 60637. Tel: 877-705-1878; Tel: 773-753-3347; Fax: 877-705-1879; Fax: 773-753-0811; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Secondary Education; High Schools; Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A